Customer Service Representative
3M Promotional Markets, North Mankato, Minn.
In four short years, Tiffany Hanson has already gained rock star status at 3M Promotional Markets. For her, customer service goes beyond resolving a complaint. It means advocating for the customer’s business and the customers they represent. A recent order she handled is one such example of her tenacious character, and perhaps why her nominator believes her to be “one of those rare talents in the promo industry.” A distributor was having some color concerns about one of 3M’s products. According to Hanson’s nominator, she skillfully represented the end-buyer’s request to the production team and sat with the distributor on multiple conference calls to better understand the customer’s expectation of the final product. She spent weeks with the distributor trying different print processes and techniques to get the desired outcome. Her efforts paid off by helping the distributor deliver a quality product that exceeded the end-buyer’s hopes. “I have always had a passion for helping people, and when the opportunity arose to support distributors selling the Post-it Notes Brand, I snatched it up,” Hanson shared. “Working for an amazing company that sells such well-known products was a win-win in my book.” She is currently responsible for 11 national accounts and over 500 accounts in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
A typical day: I like to think of myself as the voice of the customer. I am the liaison between customers and distributors and every other department that touches the order. I help educate all parties involved and ensure that orders are produced to the high standards we encourage our customers to expect. Plus, I get to use a lot of Post-it Notes in the process. If a distributor calls in a crunch, I get to be the one to calm them and offer solutions, which is truly my favorite part of the job. I love being able to let a customer know we have their back and not to fret while hopefully getting a laugh out of them in the process. I work with an amazing team that is invested in what they do, and they make my job easy.
Her approach to customer service: I would say my approach is solutions-based, with an emphasis on finding a better way. My main goal is to ensure my clients are satisfied and educated about our products. I partner daily with my clients’ inside sales representative to answer questions, brainstorm ideas, develop visual samples and find solutions. We aim to make working with us easy and eliminate the stress that working in the promotional products industry can create.
How she keeps calm and stays inspired: I make a conscious decision each day to learn something new and make each day great. There may be a tough phone call or situation, but that doesn’t need to impact the rest of my day or my customer’s day. I believe that each day is a gift, and I treat it as such.
Why she loves her job and the industry: I love the people. I really am a people person and the spirit of the individuals in this industry can’t be matched. I love when distributors call me and are just as excited about our products and capabilities as I am. It is fun to be faced with a challenge and being able to make it happen. What’s not to love about passionate people doing what they love?
Her proudest career achievement: I am most proud of the relationships I have been able to cultivate in my short time in the industry. When customers call up and ask for me specifically, it shows that they trust me and that I am doing my job well. I love that feeling I get when I do a follow-up on a particularly difficult job and I get to hear them exhale with gratitude and thank me for our hard work. I am validated that I have done a great job based on the number of distributors who call to touch base and want to catch up even if they do not have a current project.
Her best advice: Know your products inside and out, be confident, flexible and, above all, listen. Be yourself, and remember to breathe. If you need help remembering these things, I have some Post-it Notes I would love to sell to you to take note.
What she does for fun: I am a bit of a country girl. I enjoy four-wheeling through the mud with my husband and three children. I have just started getting into CrossFit, and I love it. I paint and do woodburning and enjoy doing anything creative. I love cuddling with my dogs, and I enjoy going on hikes. I also spend a great portion of my time helping others find their way in life. I am blessed beyond measure.